Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for June, 2008

Forgive me father for I have sinned ~ Web 2.0 guilt
June 30th, 2008

Well, in the last two days I have signed up to not one, not two but three new “Web 2.0 tools”. I was intrigued by Posterous and it’s incredible ease of use. One can perform many tasks simply via email ~ a tool that many are quite adept at using already. Why not use Posterous to set up a blog? I signed up. Three bloggers have highlighted Posterous during the last 24 hours, namely Larry Ferlazzo, Michelle Martin and Silvia Tolisano. It is certainly an interesting tool and I shall be sharing it with my colleagues this Thursday.

Earlier this evening I received an email invite from Clay Burell to join Plurk and I did. It looks neat. I will give it a go. I had read about it on Read~Write Web some time back and it has popped up in a few posts and tweets as a possible alternative to the long suffering Twitter.

Then, since I was seemingly in a drunken web 2.0 haze I signed up for Diigo despite my digs here, here and here (scroll down) I will have to thoroughly explore Diigo in order to derive the greatest benefit from this tool. Well, it has been 3 months since the big Diigo whirlwind of last March so I here I am all signed up and I even joined a few groups.

But, I signed up for Posterous within 24 hours of its discovery and for Plurk the second I read Clay’s invite. I did not allow time to frame my decision. I jumped straight in. Web 2.0 overdose. Bless me father for I have sinned.

How did I create this post? My wife took my photograph using a small Casio digital camera. I uploaded the image to my Mac using a USB 2.0 card reader. I imported the image into Comic Life and added the word balloons, etc. I exported the Comic as a jpeg image and then resized it in Adobe Photoshop Elements and exported it using the Save For Web option which allows you to fine tune file size and quality. I used CyberDuck to upload the image plus the various logos that I had screen captured via SharpShooter,

Visit to Nan Tien Temple
June 29th, 2008

Shao Ping, Lucia and I drove across to the Nan Tien Temple this afternoon. Shao Ping will be conducting some Mandarin lessons at the temple commencing July. We checked out the projection facilities.

We then took Lucia for a tour around the temple. We have been there many times. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. I have photographed the temple before and the images are included in this gallery. The weather was brilliant today. Deep blue sky airbrushed with wondrous cirrus clouds.

How did I create this post? The photographs were taken with a Nikon D-70, uploaded to the MacBook with USB 2.0 card reader and processed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0. I resized each image to a width of 400 pixels and a resolution of 72dpi. I adjusted the levels for some of the images to highlight the light and shade. Sometimes digital images seem a little ‘flat’ and playing with the levels can alleviate that lack of ‘depth’. These processes are debscribed in a guide, step by step. Available in pdf format. Download the images referred to in the guide from this page.

June 29th, 2008

Sunset, Tioman Island, Malaysia, 2001.

Watershed ~ a critical point that marks a division or a change of course; a turning point; a period of time that marks a turning point in a course of action.

Well, I think that we are in the midst of a turning point or a change of course in terms of education so I have decided to give my blog a new name ~ Watershed.

I have been pondering this name change for a while.

The term watershed has been a part of my vocabulary since I read The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler about 30 years ago. In this seminal tome Koestler gives an account of mankind’s changing view of the universe and cosmology. He applied the term watershed to that period of the scientific revolution when Kepler and Galileo forever changed our view of the universe.

Dusk, Albion Park, NSW. 2006.

Two ancient cultures coalesce
June 28th, 2008

This is an aboriginal interpretation of Zorba The Greek. This performance always lifts my spirits. I am always happy to see anyone enjoying life and not taking themsleves too seriously. As the description on the YouTube page explains…

Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy from Milingimbi has been in the Indigenous Media Industry for many years and has been a long-standing member and supporter of the Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association, TEABBA Radio. He has worked Independently in Music and Film for many years also. As the man behind the camera and release of the video, Frank is also representing the dance group who call themselves “The Chooky Dancers”.

Frank has said that he filmed the footage at this years Ramingining Festival on the 30th September 2007 and knew it would be “something special” as soon as he saw the boys rehearsing. “The crowd went wild as you can see in the video, and the classic song Zorba the Greek has now become a hit overnight in the communities and now it seems, everywhere else too.”

NECC 2008 demographic
June 27th, 2008

During the last few weeks a significant number of blog posts and ‘tweets’ on Twitter have been along these lines:

“Just a week to go before I am off to the NECC”
“Five days to go and I will be at the NECC”
“NECC next week!”
“NECC here I come!”
“Packing my bags for the NECC!”
“So excited about going to NECC!”
“At last, just about to hop on a plane for the NECC”
“Sitting in an airport lounge… NECC is my next stop”

The education networks are inundated with the term NECC (just like this blog post). Thinking about it, the fact that the term is prevalent in so many posts would make searching for relevant data regarding the NECC a little more challenging.

Something else crossed my mind as well. The NECC has been around for nearly thirty years now and I wonder if the demographics of the attendees has altered during the previous three decades. In particular, has the advent of the read~write web (aka Web 2.0) had an impact on the demographics at the conference?

Will there be hard core programming types mingling with newbie, web 2.0 entranced teachers? Will the educators that have their roots in command line interfaces cope with the Twitterers in their midst? What will the mix be I wonder?

Wish I was there.